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Decision-Making: Likelihood of a Favorable Outcome Case Study

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Updated: May 10th, 2022

Raquel has to decide which of the three available options to pursue. The decision that she is facing is basically about probabilities, i.e., she needs to identify the option that provides the highest likelihood of a favorable outcome. At the same time, risks need to be considered, too, because the chance that contains the highest probability of a favorable outcome may also have the most increased risks.

Alternatives are the options that Raquel can pursue. First of all, it should be ensured that all the conditions are secured; for example, Raquel’s assumptions about the number of points she can get in each of the three scenarios are accepted. Also, it is assumed that Raquel will really have three full consecutive hours to prepare for the final exam, i.e., no time will be spent on the decision-making process or getting to the place where the exam is held. The first alternative is to spend one hour on each of the three cases; the second alternative is to spend one and a half hours on two of the three points, and the third alternative is to spend all three hours on one case. The state of nature considerations is related to the best possible and the worst possible outcomes. At best, Raquel can get all 25 points for the reading assignment question; this will happen if she spends all three hours on just one case, and this case is on the exam. At worst, Raquel can get 0 points for this question; this will happen if a case is selected that she has not studied.

When proposing recommendations, one should consider all the possible scenarios. First of all, choosing the first option will guarantee that Raquel will get 12 points out of 25; this option may seem to be safe, but it is important that Raquel needs an A, and a 12-point result will rule out the possibility of getting an A. Therefore, the first option should be ruled out. Further, the second option provides a two-thirds probability of getting 20 points, and the third option provides a one-third probability of getting 25 points. Out of the two options, the former ensures a better probability of success, while the latter presents more risks. It is noteworthy that the recommended option—option two—still presents the risk that the one case will be selected that Raquel has not studied, but unfortunately, there is no option that presents no risks; the only way of avoiding risks was finding enough time to study all three cases sufficiently.

The concept of opportunity loss suggests that there is the cost of not picking the best decision. In the given case, the cost of not picking the best decision is a failure: if Raquel chooses to pursue option one, she will not (given that she will get, in any case, 12 points for the question only) achieve her goal of getting an A for the final exam. When the cost of not picking the best decision is a failure, the decision-making process should be thought through with particular carefulness. For option two, the worst outcome is a failure, but there is a two-in-three probability of success. For option three, the worst outcome is a failure, too, but the probability of success is smaller: one-third. Therefore, Raquel should spend the three hours she has on studying two cases randomly selected out of the three available cases, and she should dedicate an hour and a half to studying each of the two cases she picks.

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IvyPanda. "Decision-Making: Likelihood of a Favorable Outcome." May 10, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/raquels-decision-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Decision-Making: Likelihood of a Favorable Outcome." May 10, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/raquels-decision-analysis/.

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